Artist Page — 2 Sep 2020
In the Presence of Absence, the bi-annual show of proposals for the museum collection, presents 23 artists (collectives). This artist page includes a text on the work and an artist contribution.
The title of the work, Ali Baba Express: Episode 2, is an adaptation of the name of the famous Chinese e-commerce website and a reappropriation of a stereotypical reference to Arab culture as an empowering and emancipating name for the way the tea is brought to the museum. The work depends on the communication between the artist and her contacts in Morocco, and contests different conditions every time, depending on when and where it is installed. Preparations for the Stedelijk Museum exhibition took place under regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, and it is uncertain if the verbena tea leaves can arrive and be restocked when necessary, due to global border restrictions.
Ali Baba Express: Episode 2 is an example of how Ghita Skali’s (b. 1992) practice brings in realities that exist outside the arts and empowers other realities through her work, consisting of installations, interventions, performances, and video. Often inspired by gossip, rumors, underground activities, and anecdotes, she begins to further investigate potential social or political issues that have been strangely left unsolicited, unseen, and untouched.